Probate and Will, Trust & Estate Disputes

Advising Russian frozen fish distributors

We acted on behalf of the Russian sellers of various consignments of frozen fish which were shipped from Murmansk in Russia for distribution to customers in Portugal.

The frozen fish arrived at destination allegedly in poor condition and the Buyers refused to make payment.

The contract provided for disputes to be referred to ICC arbitration in Paris. The substantive law of the contract was English.

Arbitration proceedings were consequently commenced by Sellers for the contractual price. Buyers refused to pay and counterclaimed for losses sustained due to the allegedly poor quality fish supplied.

The issues which the Tribunal were required to decide centred on interpretation of relevant European legislation concerning food standards and safety; relevant carriage regimes and the implementation of legislation domestically in both Russia and Portugal. The Tribunal were also required to interpret specific clauses within the sale contract, rule on a challenge to jurisdiction regarding the counterclaim and decide on whether the Buyers should be permitted to introduce expert evidence.

Following extensive written submissions and a number of interim applications which were handled by James Cradick, the Tribunal found conclusively in favour of the Sellers rejecting the Buyers case.

Notwithstanding the Award against them Buyers continued to refuse to make payment. James consequently guided Sellers through the enforcement process in Portugal in conjunction with local lawyers and the Award was consequently enforced against Buyers.

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